#76) What are your thoughts about the little mini issue within the fandom regarding Lil Miss Jay - the artist who works on the grimdark version of Rarity? Sure, he might draw something people don't like. But on the other end of the argument he's received death threats from both haters and bronies (I mean yeah it's the internet but some arrests were actually made). Any specific thoughts?
Answer: This one was quite difficult to answer, as I tend to avoid Tumblr, and thus had to perform some genuine research before answering. Being friends with a variety of Tumblr-fluent people, I receive information every now and then, and I have heard about the person in question, although what I've been told has been mostly negative. That said, I've never personally been involved in a situation with this user, and I can't even say that I've seen much of their work, and so I'm afraid that the next few points will be based on what I've heard from other people.
Sending genuine death threats – if arrests were actually made that would imply that they were quite serious – is a really stupid thing in this case. I can sort of understand people sending death threats to, for example, a convicted paedophile, or a rapist or a murderer, but when it's to a guy who draws distasteful stuff it's really dumb. I'm highly critical of a lot of things, but I wouldn't ever condone doing something like that. You don't have to like things, and you have the freedom to express what you dislike about something in a structured and reasonable way.
Death threats aren't reasonable, and seem to be the extremist response to something distasteful. I can't really argue that grimdark work of Rarity is 'good' from an ethical point of view, but I can say that the guy drawing it doesn't deserve to die. Do people like Rarity that much that they'd defend her character by slaughtering those who would hurt her? People are taking their knightly fantasies to crazy levels. She's a cartoon character; if you don't like what someone is doing with her, feel free to rant about it and gain support from like-minded people, but don't outwardly attack someone. It's not the smart thing to do.
However, when all that is said and done, I hear through the grapevine whispers that the user was banned from Tumblr because they were drawing [humanised] porn of the Cutie Mark Crusaders designed to be illustrating them as children. I've also been made aware that they practically trace art from other people for commissions and generally have a poor attitude towards other artists; one example saw them using a portion of an image by another user, and when asked to remove it, they refused with an audacious claim that they had every right to use other people's images if they want to.
The user seems to take enormous pride in their art, but I hear that it's at the detriment of other artists. In addition, I've been linked to images of some pretty messed up stuff coming from this user (with some pretty messed up anatomy on top of that). There are also rumours that the user has made a new account where he hates on his own art in order to get pity from people. Conspiracy theory? Quite possibly.
I have no connection to this artist whatsoever, but as you asked for my opinion, I have to say that while the death threats are ridiculous and can't possibly be condoned, the artist in question seems to be held in a fairly low regard by many. As a result, there's probably a good reason for why people don't like the user, but, of course, that doesn't justify wishing the person dead. It's a difficult issue, but I have to say that, given the amount of bad things I've heard about the user that can be backed up by evidence, I won't be inviting them over to my house for tea and scones.
#77) I have a friend whom I converted to enjoying the show. He was not a fan of the community or some of the terms ("Somepony", "Brohoof", "Brony") but he agreed that the show is good. While Season 2 was airing, me, him and a few other friends of mine (also bronies) would discuss the new episode. My friend in question saw this as us "talking about ponies all the time" and got sick of it to the point of leaving our group even though we don't talk about it much at all (now that Season 2 has ended). Over time he has become bitter, to the point of outright making fun of us and others for liking the show or partaking in fan related activities. He is also very reluctant to join our friend group again because he doesn't want to talk about the show. The problem I'm having is that when it comes to anything non-pony, he's a great friend and I want to stay his friend. But he doesn't want our group or myself to talk about the show at all. I want to stay his friend but I don't want to give up something I like to stay a friend. Can you give me any guidance? And the answer cannot be, "just don't talk about the show when he is around" because he assumes that's what we are talking about all the time anyways, and won't believe me when I say otherwise.
Answer: There's that word again - 'converted'. Blah. So the guy thinks that you're always talking about ponies, and detests you for that fact? Sounds like the friendship is dead in the water already, unless you're exaggerating, which I assume you must be given that you've stated that he's a good friend when talking about things outside of ponies.
Friendship groups are difficult things to manage. Everyone involved is expected to have the same mutual interests, and if you aren't part of a current fad that sweeps through the group, you risk feeling alienated, and the chance of growing resentful towards it is high. It's interesting that the person in question seemed to go for the show for a while and then changed his mind; perhaps he was merely trying to enjoy it because he wanted to fit in with you guys?
Now that he's written you off as pony-talkers, there's not a lot that you can really do. If he doesn't want to be your friend, despite you mentioning that it's not always about ponies, then you'll just have to accept that you're growing apart. Very few of the friends I have now are the friends I had three years ago; people change and certain people drift apart. It's just how things work. Talking about ponies with your friends is fine, but you should never let it dominate the flow of conversation, especially if there are people in the chat who aren't as into it as you are. It's important to represent everyone's interests in an equal way and distribute the topics of conversation evenly. It sounds as if that wasn't happening, and that's why he left your group.
The fact that he's making fun of you for it means that he's unlikely to change his stance. Your options are: completely forsake the show and choose your friend instead; keep doing what you're doing and hope that your friend comes back; or forget your friend and stick with the ones that have a mutual interest in ponies. It's hard to recommend that you go where the big pony fans are, but if this friend can't adapt to your new interests, then maybe it's time that he stops being your friend altogether. It's unreasonable for him to ask that you stop talking about ponies completely: you're allowed your own interests and he has to respect them. If he would make such high demands of you, he can't be a very good friend.
#78) [Answered by my good friend pap64] One of the reasons I love "Friendship is Magic" so much is because it is so bright, colorful and genuinely cheerful and that it makes me forget about the problems of the world and escape to a better place. Yet, I have seen many people online turn the series into something more sinister, darker, violent and cruel. Why does that happen?
Answer: One of the things pop culture loves to do a lot of is to take a very well known franchise, stories or sets of characters and completely reverse them for a broad comedic effect. So if something is genuinely sweet, then the parody has it be darker than it really is. Stuff like Sesame Street, Disney and yes, My Little Pony, are easy targets because these series were created on the basis of humanity's brighter trains of thoughts, like hope, faith, kindness and love.
As to why it happens so much in the Pony fandom, well part of it is because people do get a huge kick out of seeing these characters presented in such a disturbing manner. Sometimes, it is because it is funny. There is a reason why stuff like the .Mov flash cartoon series are very popular with Bronies: shock humor is something that is very easy to do when presenting a parody of said series.
The other reason these dark interpretations of the characters and their world are so popular with Bronies could also be that some people believe in darker forces ruling our world, and thus they want the things they love to reflect that mentality. We live in an era in which the ills of the world are easier to know about. From corrupt politicians to war in far away places, these things can often corrupt our views of the world, making it harder for us to accept a better view on life.
Like I said before, "Friendship is Magic" is a prime target for such re-imaginings because it is a show that promotes a lighter, more charming side of life. So whenever it actually decides to "go there" (like when Pinkie Pie drove herself to madness in "Party of One"), people are quick to embrace that aspect because to them at least it is a far more truthful to the world around us, and thus they celebrate it in that manner.
However, you shouldn't let those fans destroy how you view the series. If your view on the series is that "Friendship is Magic" should always be magical, whimsical and charming, that's fine. The beauty of fictional media is that you may be telling the same story to a hundred people, yet you walk out with a hundred different points of views and interpretations of the same story. Celebrate the show in the manner that makes sense to YOU, and try to avoid any places that create conflicts with that mentality.